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RSPB Scotland objects to application for ship-to-ship oil transfers in Moray Firth

Last modified: 05 February 2016

Bottlenose dolphin

Image: Steve Round

RSPB Scotland has objected to an application to allow ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Moray Firth. The application was made by the Cromarty Firth Port Authority to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Conservation policy officer Richard Evans said: “In our opinion the application is quite inadequate and completely fails to show how the possible impacts of oil transfers are to be avoided in such a sensitive area. It is a huge concern and the risks are far too high.”

Mr Evans highlighted the importance of the Moray Firth for Scotland’s marine wildlife.

“The firth has internationally important populations of seabirds. Thousands of birds spend the winter months sheltering along the coast and the intertidal mudflats are enormously important for the rich feeding grounds they provide for wildfowl and wading birds. This area is also very important for the famous bottle-nosed dolphins that attract so many visitors to this part of Scotland.”

Mr Evans continued: “We simply must see some proper risk assessments so that this application can be properly judged. This must include an honest appraisal of the effects of noise, oil spill risk and ballast water impacts on the environment and explain clearly how all of the different measures proposed as mitigation might actually work.”

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